There’s some countries that just connect with your soul and Australia was definitely that country for me. I spent two years over there on a working holiday visa – and it’s an experience I would recommend to everyone. During my two years, I found myself living the longest in Darwin and Melbourne which both became my home twice. I also travelled up the entire East Coast from New South Wales to Queensland during my first year. In my second year, I road tripped and wild camped up Western Australia to the Northern Territory – starting in Perth and finishing in Darwin. I also spent a month road tripping Tasmania and paid a quick visit to Adelaide.
My absolute highlights were exploring national parks across the West Coast and Northern Territory, and around Victoria. Find posts on preparing for wild camping, planning the ultimate Australia road trip and living in the outback and scoring second year “farm work”.
One of my favourite places in the world and a country I would one day love to live in again. Australia has so much to offer and I’m lucky to have had the time, and the money, to have travelled extensively over there. When I first went over to Australia, I quickly fell in love with the lifestyle and the people I met along the way. So I made a pact with myself to see as much of the country as I possibly could in two years. I also spent some time living in the outback – in central Queensland where I was completing my farm work for my second year visa.
Naturally, in those two years I picked up some really useful tips and information about each location I visited. I’ve used everything I learned along the way to create destination guides for each location I visited, plus extra tips on where to stay, what to eat, what trips to do and much more. I’ve created second year visa and working holiday visa guides, plus road trip planning guides.
Enjoy the countryside
Explore the beaches
Accommodation – Australia is expensive to travel and accommodation costs can add up. I really recommend hostels while travelling over there – it’s the only cheap option. Plus you can get deals for booking a week at a time. Shop around for hostels using Booking.com or Hostelworld and always read the reviews. Expect to pay £10-30 a night depending on the location (Sydney is the most expensive by far)
Food – If you’re looking to save money – avoid eating out in Australia. You’ll save a small fortune simply by shopping at the supermarkets and cooking in your hostel. Look out for meal-deals at your hostel and free food where possible, or get a job in a cafe where they send you home with the leftovers. Expect to eat a lot of pasta and noodles if you’re backpacking.
Transportation – This depends entirely on where you are. Public transport passes in Melbourne cost me $20 a week for unlimited travel across Victoria. In Sydney there was a free bus within the CBD. But there are a lot of places where you might need to buy a pass for the Greyhound or hire a car to visit national parks or the East Coast. This can be expensive, but totally worth it – find a group of mates to split costs.
Suggested daily budget – 50-100 GBP / 60-120 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number. However, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!)
I had no idea what to expect from Australia. When I went, I actually expected to work and leave after a few months instead focusing on New Zealand. Well, spoiler alert, I still haven’t made it to NZ and I loved Australia so much I stayed two years! Expect pristine nature and wildlife that will blow your mind. Amazing hiking, wild camping and the best road trips of your life. Bustling cities with a laid-back attitude and locals with a welcoming smile. Lively bars and nightlife, and hostels packed full of new friends waiting to meet you.
There’s no doubt Sydney is a beautiful and epic city – I loved it there and spent a month enjoying all it had to offer. But this was just a tiny aspect of my Australia experience. The very best moments happened outside of the cities. It was when I was doing my “farm work” in the outback in central Queensland. It was when I was camping wild and road tripping across Tasmania and Western Australia. And don’t forget the wild parties and amazing nature on the East Coast and Northern Territory. Get outside the cities, you won’t regret it!